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Forum topic by TMcG posted 12-30-2010 05:54 AM 1508 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TMcG

191 posts in 2755 days


12-30-2010 05:54 AM

Went on my first buying expedition today, which was really a lot of fun, great selection, got to choose from 2 or 3 different candidate species and choose my own boards etc..

But Holy Moly, is it always that expensive ??!! I got roughly 50 BF of Cherry, 8/4 & 5/4, for a trestle table and it came to $430, the sapele was just a bit cheaper and the mahogany, well forget that !

To be honest, I’d estimated somewhere around half that, which I’m quite happy to admit was probably dead wrong or left out half the components or something equally stupid due to not having done this before but….

And I thought the tools were getting expensive !! :-)

tony

-- http://wood.mcgivern.org


18 replies so far

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 2764 days


#1 posted 12-30-2010 06:48 AM

Yup, the wood is expensive. No two ways around that. Looks like you were somewhere around $8.50/bdft, which for thick, FAS-grade stock (which is what I hope you got) isn’t unheard of at all. I’m surprised the sapele was cheaper than the mahogany. Was it African mahogany (Khaya) or genuine (Honduran)?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View childress's profile

childress

841 posts in 3296 days


#2 posted 12-30-2010 08:10 AM

”But Holy Moly, is it always that expensive ??!”

Nah….only on certain days! LOL sorry, couldn’t resist.

And people always wonder why our work costs so much! :)

-- Childress Woodworks

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TMcG

191 posts in 2755 days


#3 posted 12-30-2010 03:37 PM

The Sapele was the cheapest of all but, apparently, it ages darker of the 3 in question.

It was Honduran and was 10.10 for the 4/4, 8/4 was a buck and a half more I think.

It was FAS and he planed the faces for me and chopped it to lengths I could fit in my truck so I’m not complaining about the vendor at all, just a little shocked as to how quickly it adds up, now wonder everything gets made from 4/4 glue ups !!

I did keep that oak, got a portable miller to come by on the way home from another job, currently stacked and drying

-- http://wood.mcgivern.org

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 2738 days


#4 posted 12-30-2010 04:00 PM

Ah! The joy of being a woodworker. Wood may not be cheap, but you know you have something nice when your done. Sounds like it will be a beautiful table when your done.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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TMcG

191 posts in 2755 days


#5 posted 12-30-2010 05:06 PM

LOL, indeed ! Love the tag, and I sure hope the table works out how it currently appears in my minds eye

I’ll certainly be going slow and steady on this one

-- http://wood.mcgivern.org

View Brian024's profile

Brian024

358 posts in 3154 days


#6 posted 12-30-2010 06:14 PM

I’ve never made a trip to the lumber store and have gotten “just what I needed”. I always end up buying a few extra boards or seeing something that I like, and buying it because the next time I buy wood it won’t be there. Yesterday I made a trip and was “suppose” to buy $100 of maple and purple heart, it happened to be a busy day and I was about the 5th person in line so I figured I would look around a bit, as I was looking I came across a 14” wide piece of 4/4 cherry that was in their 6’ short hack, this pile usually has 8” wide or less.

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51453 posts in 3235 days


#7 posted 12-30-2010 07:06 PM

Yep, good wood costs big bucks. I think the wood is the most expensive part of the the hobby. At least with the tools you can buy them and pay for them and be done with it…the wood just keeps costing :-)

One thing that helps is if you have a woodworking guild or club near you that you can join, sometimes you can get a discount at certain lumber companies. Here they will sell the wood to us at wholesale rates if you belong to the guild.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5284 posts in 3417 days


#8 posted 12-30-2010 07:43 PM

Depending on where you buy your lumber, sticker shock can hit you pretty hard.

For example, in their Weekly ad, a local big box advertises ‘Sale Prices’ on Cherry Hardwood Boards:

1×4x4’ 17.79
1×4x6’ 26.98

1×6x4’ 26.99
1×6x6’ 39.94

These are shrink-wrapped S4S in ‘nominal sizes’, and if you extrapolate them to the price per board foot (where a board foot is 144 cubic inches):
396 sq in x .75 = 297 cu in / 144 = 2.0625 BF or $19.37 per board foot.

Needless to say, I only buy from the big box in an emergency!

There are some good deals to be had if you shop for them … I buy a lot of my stock (4/4, 5/4, and 8/4) from a cabinet shop in the next town and one of my pals just picked up 50 BF of kiln-dried, 7/8” red oak in 6” to 8” widths for $65 from a millwork shop in a farm town about 50 miles away.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1480 posts in 3219 days


#9 posted 12-30-2010 08:16 PM

tony: try looking at local sources for lumber. I “scored” a bunch of cherry for $1 a bdft from a local guy with some land and a small sawmill. its not FAS grade, but its not bad either – it has a lot of character. Some pieces are clean and straight, others are really curly or have a lot of ray fleck. If this is just a hobby for you, consider paying less for a mixed bag of lumber – it’ll all be from one tree, and it will lend your work (at least to you) a sense of coming from your regional geography.

View terrilynne's profile

terrilynne

836 posts in 2648 days


#10 posted 12-30-2010 08:20 PM

That’s why I save every little piece, it’s like gold!

-- Terri, Rocky Mountain High Colorado!

View TMcG's profile

TMcG

191 posts in 2755 days


#11 posted 12-31-2010 12:07 AM

I’d love a local source, as it was the place I went to was an hour and a half away, lumber vendors seem to be a bit skinny on the ground in southwest connecticut.

Guess I’m back to the oak scavenge I recently scored but what do you do in the 12 mths it takes to dry ! :-)

-- http://wood.mcgivern.org

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AaronK

1480 posts in 3219 days


#12 posted 12-31-2010 12:14 AM

yeah, southwest CT might not be that great for local sawmills. Still, check around. NORTHwest CT might be really good and might make the drive worth it. good luck!

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7683 posts in 2552 days


#13 posted 12-31-2010 04:04 AM

High end wood is expensive by definition but there ways to maximize your return. One is resawing and veneering
with your precious woods. Another is to take the local “cheap” wood (in my area soft maple is cheap) and make it special because of what you do with it rather than what it already was. Stains, dyes, grain matching, finishes, carving, bending, laminating… can make some fairly cheap wood pretty special.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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TMcG

191 posts in 2755 days


#14 posted 12-31-2010 05:37 PM

Good point Shipwright, I was thinking about putting an inlay “bead” around the edge of this table but that approach would certainly maximize the use in general

I’ve already found myself glancing at the offcuts/leftovers from a couple of cutting boards wondering how I could use them for something

-- http://wood.mcgivern.org

View CampD's profile

CampD

1568 posts in 3240 days


#15 posted 12-31-2010 06:09 PM

You have to come a bit father north into the Berkshires, lots of little mills up here.

-- Doug...

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